New strategic partnership launched between GW4 Alliance and the Western GatewayMarch 8, 2022
A new strategic partnership between the GW4 Alliance and the Western Gateway has been announced today (8 March), strengthening collaborative activities that will drive green and economic regional growth.
The two parties have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will bring together the GW4 universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the country – with the UK’s first pan-regional partnership.
GW4 identifies areas of complementary expertise across its institutions to develop research communities at scale which address major global and industrial challenges; from net zero, climate change and sustainability to antimicrobial resistance.
The Western Gateway brings together business, academia and government from both sides of the union to work together in partnership to create new opportunities for the 4.4 million people who live within its borders.
This new partnership will reach across two countries, working together through shared expertise and knowledge to power mutual projects that aim to level up communities and help the world achieve a net zero carbon economy faster.
Professor Lisa Roberts, Chair of GW4 Council, and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University of Exeter, said: “Collaboration lies at the heart of the GW4 Alliance and I am delighted that we are working with the Western Gateway on a shared ambition for the South West and Wales area.
“By combining our experience and knowledge, we hope to build inclusive, prosperous and sustainable societies while creating regional economic growth.”
Katherine Bennett, Chair of the Western Gateway Partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity for our area to use the knowledge and expertise of our great universities to work together to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face.
“We already work together closely on many projects, such as our bid to bring the country’s first fusion prototype plant to the area to use our skills to unlock this vital green fuel and level up communities at risk of being left behind across the union. I look forward to working together on many projects to boost the potential of our communities and help unlock new fuels and growth for the UK.”
The new strategic partnership was formally announced by Professor Hugh Brady, Board Member of the Western Gateway Partnership, and Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Bristol, at the inaugural powerhouse conference for South Wales and Western England, Green Growth in the Western Gateway.
Professor Brady said: “The GW4 Alliance is a ready-made vehicle with the ability to deliver research and innovation at pace and scale. The collective strengths and ambitions of our four universities means we are well placed to work collaboratively across the Western Gateway area to support the transition to a green economy.”
Business leaders and politicians have convened at the event, taking place at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport, to explore how the area can level up communities at risk of being left behind, become the UK’s first green energy super cluster and capitalise on investment in green innovation.
At the conference, the Alliance was also represented by GW4 Board member Professor Philip Taylor, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol, who spoke on a plenary session about how the area could become the UK’s first green energy super cluster.
Later on in the afternoon, GW4 Alliance Director Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE chaired a panel session on the hydrogen economy which featured Xiaohong Li, Professor and Chair of Energy Storage and Director of Global Development at the University of Exeter, as a panellist.
Image credits: Western Gateway Partnership